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Not able to afford yam anymore, Abuja residents take to potatoes

Residents say the high cost of yams had forced them to look for alternatives in Irish and sweet potatoes.

• August 8, 2021

Residents of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, are now shifting their craving for yam among other popular staple foods to more affordable ones like potatoes due to the harsh economy.

Those who spoke to NAN on Sunday said the high cost of yams had forced them to look for alternatives in Irish and sweet potatoes.

Kindness Jude, a civil servant, said many yam traders were now the ones selling Irish potatoes and sweet potatoes in Goza, a popular abuja market for tubers, and were making sales as usual.

Mrs Jude said, Irish and sweet potatoes had flooded all the spaces that yams used to occupy in the market, since they were more affordable.

“I buy more potatoes as an alternative to one tuber of yam for N1,200.

‘”Many people don’t know the nutritional value of Irish and sweet potatoes, they come in seasons, they are now the best and most affordable staple food in the market.

‘”The method of preparation is the same as yam, it can be fried, boiled or made as porridge but they both  taste different,” she said.

Veronica Bawa, who sells yams at Goza market, told NAN that “it has been our practice to sell yams during its season and add potatoes to its sale when in season too.

“But this time, we cannot buy yams to sell, due to its high cost. And most of our yam customers have changed their preference to potatoes, so I have to also buy what they need so I can retain my customers.

“I will be selling potatoes for now, pending  when new yam fully enters the market, towards the end of August or early September,” she said.

Eme Abang said “my family and I love eating yam, but due to the hike in the price we now eat more potatoes.

”Now with N200 to N500 you get a good number of potatoes for yourself and family, instead of buying just a tuber of yam for N1,200 or N1,500.

”Right now with the price of potatoes, my family can still eat sweet or Irish potatoes as alternative staple food,” she said.

Mohammed Musa, who was in the market to buy food items, said sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes had helped many families cope with hunger season.

One small tuber of  yam cost N1,200. The big size cost N1,500. As against potatoes, which are sold for between N200 to N500 for 10 sizeable ones.

”Right now a heap of five sizeable yams go for N6,500 to N7,000, against the price of a basket of Irish potatoes, which is sold for N800 to N1000 and a 50kg bag of sweet potatoes, which goes for N8000,” he said.

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